Science and Technology of Energetic Materials

Vol.76, No.3 (2015)

Research paper

The effect of venting on cookoff of a melt-castable explosive (Comp-B)
Michael L. Hobbs and Michael J. Kaneshige


Occasionally, our well-controlled cookoff experiments with Comp-B give anomalous results when venting conditions are changed. For example, a vented experiment may take longer to ignite than a sealed experiment. In the current work, we show the effect of venting on thermal ignition of Comp-B. We use Sandia’s Instrumented Thermal Ignition (SITI) experiment with various headspace volumes in both vented and sealed geometries to study ignition of Comp-B. In some of these experiments, we have used a boroscope to observe Comp-B as it melts and reacts. We propose that the mechanism for ignition involves TNT melting, dissolution of RDX, and complex bubbly liquid flow. High pressure inhibits bubble formation and flow is significantly reduced. At low pressure, a vigorous dispersed bubble flow was observed.


Comp-B, cookoff, sealed, vented, two-phase reactive flow

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